Daily cases below 3L after 26 days

244 dists still with over 20% positivity rate | ICMR to scale up testing to cover villages

Daily cases below 3L after 26 days

The wailing relatives of a Covid victim in Delhi. Mukesh Aggarwal

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 17

In sustained signs of a retreating second wave of Covid-19, daily infections fell below 3 lakh for the first time in 26 days while weekly positivity rate dropped from 22.61 per cent on May 10 to 18.17 today.

Also read: Edit: Cautious relief

The country saw 2,81,386 new cases today, revealing consistent trends of an average decline in daily cases since May 9. The weekly decline in positivity rate was seen after 15,73,515 tests in the last 24 hours.

Chairing the 26th meeting of the Group of Ministers on Covid today, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan noted the decline in new cases and hailed Covid warriors for their services. “India’s Covid-19 new cases have dropped to less than 3 lakh for the first time after 26 days. Also, a net decline of 1,01,461 cases has been recorded in the active caseload in the last 24 hours,” Vardhan said.

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Although the pandemic wave appears to be ebbing, challenges loom in the form of 244 districts showing over 20% positivity rate and 479 districts showing more than 10% positivity rate. The WHO advises nations to continue to ramp up testing till positivity rate drops below 5%. Karnataka has 27 districts —- the maximum —- with over 20 per cent positivity rate while Madhya Pradesh has the most (38) districts with over 10 per cent rate.

The GoM took note of the virus moving village wards with the ICMR announcing plans to scale up testing by 80% over the coming days to cover rural India.

Balaram Bhargava, ICMR DG, informed the GoM of innovative changes in testing policy that would widen its scope of application and help in mass screening.

The ICMR will also provide home isolation guidelines in Hindi and other languages.

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